Photo Requests from Solitary (PRFS) is a participatory project that invites men and women held in long-term solitary confinement in U.S. prisons to request a photograph of anything at all, real or imagined, and then finds a volunteer to make the image. The astonishing range of requests, taken together, provide an archive of the hopes, memories, and interests of people who live in extreme isolation.
On any given day, at least 80,000 people are held in solitary in the United States, most placed there not by a judge or jury, but by prison staff. Some will remain for months, years, or even decades in conditions that have been shown to cause deep and lasting psychological and physiological harm.
The goal of PFRS is to fulfill each request to exact specifications for the person who requested it, with images that—through some combination of form, content, composition, design, and/or sheer commitment—are compelling enough that someone would want to return to them for repeated viewing. (People in solitary are sharply limited in the numbers of photographs they can have, so every image is important.)
H.H.H Collective consists of Umber Majeed, Rehan Miskci and Lara Nasser. Respectively Pakistani-American, Turkish-Armenian, and Lebanese, the collective operates in the space between over here and back home. Their practices offer up a wealth of critical considerations—particularly in the domain of 'unfamiliar territory.' Rather than dramatize an imprisonment in one’s own ethno-geographic history, they address it with a wink and a smile.
H.H.H Collective is a poetic and earnest attempt to assimilate; the soft failure of which delivers an awkward sense of humor.
Publishing Process in collaboration with MotM at IAIA
Publishing Process is a series of talks by and conversations with artists, editors and publishers to explore publishing as artistic practice and to shed light on some current experimental publishing and editorial models from the region.
"...multidisciplinary artist Umber Majeed will present a talk about the Lahore-based experimental publishing house and community-sustained library, Mantiq of the Mantis, and its multifaceted programming on behalf of its founders Mehreen Murtaza and Sabeen Jamil."
Digital Diaspora in collaboration with BUFU
Curatorial Project/ Video Screening
Living between the space of representation and reality…
As artists of Muslim descent both practicing and secular, we are presenting works, which consider the body politic through the digital-self as it relates to the displaced body. Asking the questions how do we under the guise of “global citizen” granted by the internet and globalization-exist and communicate as online personalities, consumer selves, and political beings? We are particularly concerned with honoring the contributions of the Black Power Movement and Black Muslims while thinking about liberation work and the dichotomy between East and West. We are also concerned with re-organizing the language around “Middle-East” as middle and east of Europe and replacing this signifier with West Asian. While honoring the South Asian community, and its struggle to be recognized and given space to create and flourish. Within the shifting space of identity we are hosting works that both use traditional signifiers of the Diaspora and ones, which present this visual and cultural exploration in more abstract terms.
Kameelah Janan Rasheed
Yunique A. Saafir
Video Artists/Film Makers:
Razan Al Salah
Mohamed A Berro
Curated by Sahar Sepahdari (Sailor Noom) & Umber Majeed
Paradise in Progress
Paradise In Progress is a group exhibition that engages the utopian project of thinking about what the future will look like. Inherent in each of the artists’ works is the struggle to mine, identify, and recuperate certain remnants of so-called failed historical aspirations and to reassemble new models of a tomorrow. Against the postmodern malaise brought on by the “end of history,” this exhibition proposes both an argument against and counterlogic to the ways in which historicity has been practiced and produced in the first place. Thus, paradise illuminated in this new light is not a infinite-sameness, but an infinite-change. An ongoing project fueled by the Promethean desire of non-centralized human progress, which is not necessarily linear nor easily commensurable to humanity. Several art historical tropes which have assembled the utopian and paradise imaginary, natural flora, working class struggle, emancipatory narratives, etc. are disassembled and reconstituted as new forms and schemas for alternate futures.
Daniel Llaria, Fernando do Campo, Ingrid (Yuan Zhuang), Marija Markovic, Oscar Gracida, Ryota Sato, Umber Majeed, Will Lee, Yue Sun, Alex Sheriff + Weston Frazor (DJ Lasagna)
Beyond the Obvious
Beyond the Obvious is an exhibition expanding the ways of seeing and contemplating the processes’ of artwork; the relations between the artist’s intent, the artwork, the viewer, and underlying discourses beyond the art experience. We are not only engaging the viewer to look beyond the surface of the art presented and also invite the artists participating in the show, to look beyond the spiel in their own art practices.
Alex Sheriff, Amal Khan, American Artist, Andy Wentz, Keith Tilford, Leonie Cicirello, Liona Nyariri, Luciana Pinchiero, Maika’i Tubbs, Oscar Gracida, Saul Sanchez, Sofia Quirno, Umber Majeed, Vered Snear, William Lee